A Calgary business owner says he shouldn't have to pay a fee to have police respond to alarm calls.

Starting Jan. 1, 2017, police no longer respond to non-emergency alarms without an annual permit, which costs $20 for businesses and $15 for homeowners.

Phil Broadbent, who owns Speedy Brake Apollo Muffler in Montgomery, received the renewal fee notice for his alarm system in the mail this week.

Broadbent says his shop has had its share of vandalism, which is why he has an alarm system.

The new fee caught him off guard, and Broadbent believes the rules are just a cash grab.

"[Police] are paid to respond to crime so if we pay for that through taxes and everything else we pay for, speeding tickets, fines and whatever, I think they have enough money to say 'Hey, we can deal with the job we're supposed to do,'" he said.

Alarm House security

Calgary Police Service started charging an annual fee for residential and commercial alarm system permits in January. (Getty Images)

The changes to alarm fees came after police were responding to about 45 alarms a day, most of which were false.

"When we are attending 96 per cent of false alarms, that is not a very valuable resource of our police members," said Alison Turgeon, alarm co-ordinator with Calgary Police Service.  

Turgeon said there has been a 55 per cent reduction in false alarm calls since the new rules have been in place.

With files from Terri Trembath Articled from the CBC RSS Syndication CBC.ca - RSS Feeds Copyright is that of their respective owners (CBC).

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